Home Markets Justice Department seeks six-month prison sentence for former Trump adviser convicted of contempt of Congress

Justice Department seeks six-month prison sentence for former Trump adviser convicted of contempt of Congress

by SuperiorInvest

White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro listens to a news conference on a presidential executive order related to military veterans outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, March 4, 2019.

Leah Millis | Reuters

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department wants former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro to spend six months behind bars after being found guilty of criminal contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena.

Federal prosecutors said in a court filing Thursday that Navarro “deserves severe punishment” that includes a $200,000 fine as well as prison time. His sentencing is scheduled for January 25.

Navarro, 74, was found guilty last year of two counts of contempt after refusing a congressional subpoena to testify before the now-defunct Jan. 6 committee and produce relevant documents.

“The defendant chose loyalty to former President Donald Trump over the rule of law,” prosecutors wrote in Thursday’s sentencing memo.

“He hid his bad faith strategy of defiance and contempt behind baseless and unfounded invocations of executive privilege and immunity that could not and would never apply to his situation,” they added.

Navarro’s attorney, Stanley Woodward, declined to comment on the Justice Department’s sentencing request.

Navarro has said he ignored the congressional subpoena because Trump told him to invoke executive privilege, an argument that was later rejected by prosecutors and a judge.

In a separate court filing Thursday, Navarro’s attorneys asked that the court not sentence him to more than six months in prison and pay a $200 fine.

“Despite the government’s effort to label Dr. Navarro an insurrectionist, the reality is that his conviction arises solely from a conviction for his refusal to comply with the Select Committee’s subpoena and has nothing to do with the events that occurred in the Capitol in January. January 6, 2021,” Navarro’s lawyers wrote in their filing.

Navarro is not the first former Trump adviser to face the possibility of jail time after defying a Jan. 6 committee subpoena. In 2022, Steve Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison plus a $6,500 fine; Prosecutors had requested six months in prison and a $200,000 fine.

Bannon appealed his conviction, and a federal judge suspended his sentence during the appeal process.

Prosecutors drew comparisons to Bannon in their sentencing memo for Navarro.

“Like Stephen Bannon before him, during the pendency of this case, the defendant has exploited his notoriety (through courtroom press conferences, his books and podcasts) to show the public why he failed to comply with the law. Committee subpoena: a disregard for government processes and the law, and in particular, the work of the Committee,” prosecutors wrote.

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